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NauenThen

Monday Quote

A Man Said to the Universe


A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

 

~ Stephen Crane

 

This is quite possibly the first non-kid poem I learned by heart. 

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What I'm reading

Thinking about refreshing this 8-year-old project. Going to try adding a new weekly feature: What I'm reading. In my recent mania to forget nothing, I've been listing every book I finish. Let's see how this goes...

 

My first favorite poet was Stephen Crane. In declam in high school, I recited a couple of his poems. Oh my gosh! The girl who crooned Longfellow was feted, while Crane's bitter unrhymed verses were not a hit. Did I think because they mattered so much to me, I could put them over? As I recall, I already had my low-key undeclamatory style: even then it seemed embarrassing to try to add my emotion to what the writer was doing on his own. 

 

I have to admit I also admired Crane for dying young, "before artistic old age," as I put it in my diary. I also said (I was 15 & feeling ancient): "I want to be like Stephen Crane— accomplish something great, then die. I do not care to grow old — senile, blind, rheumatic & be repeating the same things, activities, ideas all over."

 

All this said, I was excited to grab a copy of Burning Boy, Paul Auster's new biography of Crane. He's certainly a completist ~ hard to imagine Crane spent as much time thinking about what he wrote as Auster does. That said, it's sending me back to the work over & over, & that's what a biography of a writer should do, right? 

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Stephen Crane

I'm kind of getting the idea of why I liked him.
Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was born on this date. He was my favorite poet when I was in high school.

A Man Said to the Universe

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

I liked that he got right to the point, that I could understand it while it still  Read More 
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